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Salem Watch: Bike signal bill passes Senate

Posted by on February 9th, 2011 at 11:35 am

Bike traffic signal bill passed the Senate.
(Photo © J. Maus)

Senate Bill 130 (text), that would add green, yellow and red bicycle signals to Oregon’s list of officially accepted traffic control devices, has passed the Oregon Senate.

The ODOT-backed bill passed yesterday by a vote of 28-1. The only “no” vote came from Senator Jeff Kruse (R-Roseburg). The Oregonian reported via Twitter that Kruse decried “special perks for cyclists” as the reason for his opposition.

SB 130 got a public hearing on February 1st and the City of Portland’s head traffic signal staffer Peter Koonce testified on its behalf. Why is this bill so important? Here’s a snip from his testimony:

“Senate Bill 130… will codify a technique that we have used to remove confusion and improve the safety of our streets… Providing an exclusive signal display recognizes the differences between motor vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians, and it separates bicycles from conflicting movements.”

The bill will now move to the House. Given it’s resounding support in the Senate, and the fact that ODOT is behind it, our hunch is that it is very likely to pass. We’ll keep you posted.

— For more on this bill, read our past coverage.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. BikePortland is an inclusive company with no tolerance for discrimination or harassment including expressions of racism, sexism, homophobia, or xenophobia. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

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Chad
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Nice. I’ll make sure not to stop and spend any money in Roseburg on my next trip down I-5 since I wouldn’t want to give any special perks to I-5 corridor cities.

Stephen Gomez
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Stephen Gomez

Actually, Oakridge is a model for a city that has moved beyond it’s timber town past and has fully embraced cycling–specifically mountain biking. We rode Mt. Bike Oregon out of Oakridge last year and it was clear that biking has become the economic focus of this town, not to mention the world-class riding in the old forests.

Spiffy
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Spiffy

if he opposes this due to “special perks for cyclists” then he must also oppose ped walk signals as “special perks for pedestrians”….

3-speeder
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3-speeder

Although my initial thought also focused on the “1”, I quickly realized it was better to focus on the “28”.

We don’t need unanimity, we just need an (overwhelming) majority.

A.K.
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A.K.

Perhaps it would help Senator Jeff Kruse to think of it this way:

Any device that increases the safety of cyclist and motorist interactions will decrease accidents, thus decreasing medical expense and CLAIMS AGAINST INSURANCE COMPANIES FOR DAMAGE.

Each accident that is prevented is one less claim for medical insurance, one less claim again someone’s car insurance, etc.

Wayne
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Wayne

Clearly, a politician stuck in the “us vs them” mentality of a car-centric environment that is fast becoming obsolete as we address multi-use transportation as a part of our urban planning.

Oakridge is a prime example of a town that has embraced cycling (specifically mt biking) to reinvent themselves. A great place to visit.

Perhaps this individual is simply unaware of the positive economic impact cycling and related industries brings to the Oregon economy – jobs created, products manufactured, empty spaces leased, brands developed, etc. Not to mention the positive health benefits, the hundreds of thousands of dollars each year raised for various charities, and so on.

Maybe someone at CO could invite him to the opening ceremonies in Sutherlin. Just a thought.

Spiffy
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Spiffy

yeah waiting for Jonathan to close the italics tag after the “— For more on this bill, read our past coverage.” bit…